The Lawfare Podcast


Chip Brantley and Andrew Beck Grace on White Lies Season 2

Chip Brantley and Andrew Beck Grace are the creators of the NPR audio documentary White Lies, which was a Pulitzer finalist for its first season. Chip and Andrew are back for season 2, a story they began reporting in 2015 after they stumbled on an archival photo of a prison riot in Talladega, Alabama. This season focuses on the Mariel boatlift, a 6-month period in 1980 during which 125,000 Cubans emigrated to the United States to seek asylum. What they found is as much an American immigration story as a history of American immigration—and the laws that govern it.

Lawfare Managing Editor Tyler McBrien sat down with Chip and Andrew to discuss the legal fictions that prop up the U.S. immigration system, how a country with due process under the law justifies detaining people indefinitely, and their obsession with Lady Bird Johnson’s White House audio diaries.

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Rational Security: The “Mission Admonished” Edition

This week on Rational Security, Alan, Quinta, and Scott waited for a big shoe to drop by talking over the week's big national security news, including:“What Else Can I Get Away With on Fifth Avenue...” Donald Trump is expected to become the first former president to be indicted on criminal charges this week—if, that is, local authorities are not deterred by the public protests Trump’s supporters are preparing to hold in New York City at his request. What will this move mean for the country? And how might it end? “Territorial Refute.” After weeks of avoiding the issue, likely 2024 Republican presidential contender Ron Desantis adopted the position that supporting Ukraine—which he described as being involved in a “territorial dispute”—is not a vital U.S. interest, bringing him into alignment with former President Trump and signaling a strong lean towards isolationism in the 2024 Republican field. What will this mean for the likely candidates? And for U.S. support for Ukraine moving forward?“The ‘Blood, Treasure, and Regret’ Anniversary.” This past week marked the 20th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, which set out to remove a dictator and welcome a new wave of democracy in the Middle East—but has instead resulted in an Iraq that is still recovering from years of sectarian violence and increasingly under Iran’s influence. What is the legacy of the decision to invade? And what does it mean for U.S. foreign policy moving forward?